Articles - 5th August 2020

Sainsbury’s bank no longer will offer credit to the self-employed

Sainsbury’s Bank Stops Offering Loans and Credit Cards to the Self-Employed (Money Expert

The supermarket’s bank said it has made “temporary updates” to its lending criteria due to the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis. It said it would keep its lending criteria under review and monitor the changing situation.

The restrictions only apply to new applications for credit cards and loans and won’t impact self-employed people who already have lending products with the bank.

Other banks are continuing to lend to self-employed people but will have their own criteria for assessing applicants.

 

Uber and Lyft drivers in US face suspension as Covid-19 delays legal checks (Financial Times)

US drivers for Uber and Lyft are being suspended for weeks because the coronavirus crisis has stalled the court system needed for background checks.

As well as criminal checks when a person first signs up, large gig economy companies typically carry out an annual check on their workers, as well as monitor local arrest records. 

But this year, the third party company used by Uber and Lyft said the closure of courthouses because of the pandemic had led to “unavoidable delays in processing some background checks”.

Gig economy companies are wary of allowing workers without valid background checks to operate, fearing repercussions over accidents or other incidents.

 

Unemployed Rush to Freelancing Sites, Putting Pressure on Wages (Bloomberg)

Since June, more than 24,000 people — two-thirds of them Americans — got on the waiting list to join Braintrust, which offers contract projects from the likes of Nestle SA and Nike Inc. 

On Freelancer.com, user sign-ups from the U.S. rose by more than 30% between February and July, year over year. On Upwork Inc., client and freelancer registrations have jumped 50% since mid-March, when the pandemic hit.

With millions of Americans unemployed, and full-time positions scarce, there’s a massive rush to freelancer sites — one that could result in everyone getting paid less.

 

Self-employed: Less than one in ten protect income (Cover Magazine)

Nearly a fifth (17%) of self-employed workers in the UK have no personal savings to fall back on in case of a financial crisis, while a further 14% have less than £2000 in savings, research from insurance company The Exeter and Cebr has revealed.

Despite this, less than one in 10 (9%) of self-employed workers protect their income with insurance, while 65% of the UK population do not have any form of protection in place.

 

Government recovery fund aims to retain status quo, not freelance workforce (The Stage)

While the emergency arts funding is clearly designed to protect prestigious institutions until March next year, how can the theatre industry ensure its freelance workers survive? asks The Stage editor Alistair Smith in his op-ed. 

 

Freelancer working hours to be scrutinised (Broadcast Now)

Freelancers’ working hours are to be scrutinised under a major research project overseen by job share group Share My Telly Job and supported by Bectu.

The Time Project has secured funding from the University of York’s Screen Industries Growth Network to establish an accurate picture of the way freelancers work – uncovering patterns of behaviour and identifying any patterns of overwork which could impact staff mental health and wellbeing.

A pilot will commence in September, with contributors asked to upload their working hours each day and week to an online database, before an app is launched which will allow updates to take place anonymously.

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